Episode 13: Literacy & the Dandelion Strategy

22 June 2022

In this episode, VCC’s Meaghon Reid sits down with Steacy Pinney, CEO of Calgary Reads, to explore how Calgary Reads is spreading early literacy across Calgary through the Dandelion strategy, and the importance of literacy and prevention in the early years.

Published 22 June 2022

Updated 12 December 2023

This episode of Let's Talk Poverty discusses how relationships are the catalyst for progress and change, and how literacy is a community responsibility. It also provides some insights on how we can be bold enough to create space for challenging the status quo and brave enough to admit when it’s time to let go.

In this episode

  • Learn about Calgary Reads next chapter, the Dandelion strategy. Discover more about their search for the right committed and passionate partners who would take pieces of the work of Calgary Reads, and how the legacy of Calgary Reads will carry on through the scaling up of the important work of their seed partners.
  • Reflection on futures thinking, sharing how 10 years from now the goal would be to have children and adults alike identify as readers. Being transformed through deep, thoughtful, and reflective reading – letting words sink in and change us.
  • Instruction for those in leadership positions. Are we asking the right questions? Are we contributing to the problem, and should we get out of the way? Are we bold enough to admit what is broken and recognize that we may not be the right people to reinvent the way in which we work? Are we brave enough to challenge the status quo?

Three key takeaways

  • Understanding that literacy is a community responsibility.
  • Considerations around change. How the Dandelion strategy is really a scaling, sustainability, and succession strategy, and is a case study that other organizations can look to, if they find themselves in a similar situation, and decide if this type of approach fits their desires to change, transform, and grow.
  • A reminder that relationships are the catalyst for progress and change, and how relationships inspire hope and possibility.

Additional Resources

About Steacy Pinney

As a former educator, literacy consultant and founder and CEO of Calgary Reads, Steacy Pinney has been helping children experience the life-changing magic of reading for more than 35 years. Steacy’s career began in the Grade 1 classroom, where she became passionate about her critical role in helping children develop a love of reading. As a reading champion, placemaker, and ‘possibilitarian’ one of Steacy’s proudest achievements is The Little Red Reading House, a magical home that lets children experience the sacred wonder of family reading time and the power of book ownership. Steacy is proud to have been an active community leader and connector. She has been the recipient of a number of awards and, in 2019, was presented with the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award for her outstanding contributions to her profession and the community. Steacy is most proud of being the mom of three amazing daughters, who have been her best teachers. She also loves her new role as ‘Nana’ and storyteller to three wonderful grandchildren.

About Calgary Reads

Calgary Reads provides children with all the essentials to become enthusiastic readers—their very own books, strong reading role models and spaces that nurture a love of reading—they build a thriving community and put children on a path to success. While Calgary Reads’ chapter is coming to a close, see how their spreading early literacy across Calgary through their Dandelion strategy and seed partners.

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